Sep 06, 2012

A New Set of Eyes on Texas: Last Words in Huntsville, Fighting Words in Lubbock

Eyes on Texas is a weekly roundup of articles and columns from around the world about the Lone Star State. Returning after a summer break, EoT was worried that Texas would seem less interesting outside our state borders, especially after Rick Perry’s failed presidential bid. But recent coverage proves that the state still looms large in the media psyche.

The Guardian, as earlier Eyes on Texas posts  reveal, never tires of the Texas criminal justice system and recently wrote about the scheduled execution of Marvin Wilson, a man with an IQ of 61. The Los Angeles Times, in a related piece, examined the executed inmates’ last words, which prison officials compile. “Y’all do understand that I came here a sinner and leaving a saint,” Wilson said before he died.

Lubbock was the center of political news in late August when a county judge named Thomas Head warned that President Obama’s election might cause a civil war, among other difficulties. His allegations were criticized and set off what the Lubbock County GOP chief called “a weird week.”

Lubbock briefly stole the sports spotlight after CBS Sports and ESPN revealed Texas Tech basketball coach Billy Gillispie had been accused of physically abusing his players. He is not the first Tech coach to face such allegations. Despite running a high-profile, high-powered offense, football coach Mike Leach was fired in 2009 for his treatment of a player who happens to be the son of the former football star, former broadcaster and former political candidate Craig James. And don’t forget that Gillispie (also known as BCG) replaced Pat Knight, who had taken over the basketball program from his legendary and infamously cranky father, Bob Knight.

On the other side of the state near the Louisiana border, Carthage High School now operates a $750,000 Jumbotron. NBC Sports (relying on a Longview article) reports: “In defending the nation’s biggest high school wide screen TV, Carthage administrators say it will attract students to the school’s broadcast journalism program (Carthage has its own leased cable channel).”

And Austin’s own Andy Roddick bid farewell to professional tennis on Wednesday, to many kudos from the media, which loved his acerbic wit.